Not with Vanity Do We TryMorning, now – fuzz on the tongue marks the place
where half dose meets eleven hours under,
and I cannot push the pillows aside.
This air reeks of sweat wrought of base
desire, control by which I do not abide.
Too poor to break things during a fight,
so we shatter smiles found after too long a night
Morning, now – a start to what? I wonder.
Empty cupboards the result of irrevocable raids
tell my story, old as old:
scars and aches, muscles torn asunder,
searching for someone to hold.
A painting – trees on the bank of a dam – encased in black,
a reminder of better days to which we cannot go back
Morning, now – dissonance of fan blades
swirling, cutting the alarm chime;
this lethargy, my unasked for bane.
Day spills to night and memory fades
while so many misplaced efforts to rest are lain.
Tale's PassingAlex put her hands in her pants pockets, leaned against the wall, and watched people do a somber shuffle into the room. Some sat at the benches near the room's front where lay the casket surrounded by pictures of her father, and others stood in uneasy social clusters, wanting, perhaps, to make regular conversations but sensing the casual attitude inappropriate. The clock above her chimed the hour's half mark and there were already seventy people crowded into the little room. As Alex looked around, she realized she knew only Dale, Brian, and Brian's wife Elaine; it was they who worked most closely with her father. That so many other people would attend surprised her; she hadn't been as aware of her father's affluence as she thought.Tale's Passing3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Dim lighting, feel-happy piano music in the speakers, dull colored carpeting - I mean, really, what is that? Mahogany? And a whole miniature world of strangers and sad people gathered to light candles in a room already too hot and stuffy. Picture perfect pr
coloring with youOur smiles naked for all to seecoloring with you11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
with worn wood under feet bare,
we've gathered our pages and ideas to create
treasures behind a door with no key,
just you and I, one another's mate.
I've got green for the sky, you've picked pink for the sun,
we'll laugh and we'll tease 'til the picture's all done
Pillows everywhere tossed with no care,
and forts made with blankets, too,
we prob'ly won't finish in time unless
you let me brush your hair.
Ha! See? Our room's such a mess!
We'll add a touch of tangerine faces on flowers
and raspberry red vines climbing towers
Late morning rain makes for grass with white dew,
given by cascading booms of thunder.
We got snacks of strawberries and blueberry toast,
so now listen when I say what is true:
it's these times with you I love the most!
Vacancy... so he wondersVacancy10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
when white flags will fly
and if any heavenly being
cries when they die
each one tells,
stories to pass time
between warning bells
as he writes,
fingers tracing stars above,
he whispers her name,
sending her his love
letters addressed to
families who have lost,
worn out words that
lives are the cost
an unoccupied house
is shelter for a night,
'til sunrise treks start anew,
carrying comfort out of sight
UntarnishedHe thought he was funny.Untarnished7 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
"This is a frigging stupid class," he'd say to me. "It's stupider than…your mom."
And his voice would trail off and be lost in a sea of pages flipping and pencils scratching, because nobody cared about the kid spewing crap in the corner.
It was to his advantage that the seating chart had placed him in the back of the room. He liked to lay back, balance his chair precariously against the wall, then throw his feet up on the table. It was his thinking time, he explained, because of the two classes he was taking that semester, AP English was the one he could afford to slack off in. I never really understood the logic in this, but I gave a neutral nod. It was easier that way.
One day, however, I asked him what exactly ran through his mind during his "thinking time".
"I wonder about what's going to happen to me after I die," he replied. "Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? I doubt it, but somehow, being put in the ground in a box and having that be the end of
CaffaI cry from keyholes worn into my glandsCaffa3 years ago in Scraps More Like This
and ulcerated joints. My friends
load me into a sling to give me
to the enemy. A snap, shuddering, rounded full stop.
Riding over the walls, I am a limp horseman
straddling my own waist.
Orangesmorning lifts to the smellOranges7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he enters her eyes, a
stranger waving away
her dreams, which are thick and rough-skinned as the
carpet beneath her soles
she is getting up,
clinging to the up
is a quiet fruit that she'd
rather not peel
FracturedCall me JezreelFractured4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
though I am not. I still answer
to the name my mother gave me,
though she is not my mother; I've known her too long
and too well. Just a woman, then,
but not just a woman, just as I am not my father.
So I shall be Jezreel.
Sorry. I'll start again.
When I was my father the thorns were mine. They were my first crop
and in time inherited everything. Their spread took root
in fresh plots every day, besieging the flower pots,
coiled like barbed wire across the neighbourhood.
I watered them, proud to be a father at last, until at last
my garden walls were no longer visible from space.
My garden was a black core of walllessness
pressed against the doors. When I was my father
I couldn't see from space.
But I began to.
My husband called to me
when I was barely alive,
when the handle of the blade was stuck to my palm.
Together we gathered the dead and threw it all
to the dwindling fires. "I'm sorry," I said. The land was now a desert.
His hands were the surface of my thighs, easi
Existential CrisesThere was an odd feeling that washed over her on Saturday mornings. She sat dazed between unfinished paintings, white canvases with specks of reality, and piles of unorganized papers; they seemed to magically grow and multiply as if by an imaginary stroke of the hand. Some were bills she always forgot to pay, or letters from Dylan that always ended up, with the envelope still tightly shut, in the trash. You can read a person's personality, right to its gritty core, simply by examning their trash. She had Ding-Dong wrappers, ice-cream containers, sketches of people and people that were no-longer, and a rotting carton of orange juice with a long-past expiry date, sitting solemnly with only each other for company. The letters that occasionally found their way to the heap of undesired items would recite their lyrics in a monotonous tone, while the decaying remains of food would "ooh" and "ahh", absorbing each syllable, decomposing the crumpled paper.Existential Crises6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She moved out of her childhood home two
annabbelle(two ays, two enns, two bees, two ells, to ease)annabbelle3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i met a girl who wanted two
of everything, to
reach out for your hand, so she could have another one, too.
accidental loveNo one is fated or doomed to loveaccidental love1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I’ll meet you by accident.
We’ll both be buying chicken burritos
in the airport.
“I’m here overnight -
I’ve got a pretty wicked layover,”
and I’ll laugh because
I do too.
We could maybe spend the night together
in black plastic chairs
and calling it love.
the cricket and sailour.there lives a man in a desertthe cricket and sailour.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with cracked skull and lips.
he is broken and feeble hands;
his back where the deer-antlers
roam to graze.
with the winter winds he is
calm. the sea foam swelling around
his ankles feel like honey, and he is
dragged. dragged through the sand,
dragged until he is salt. salt in a
the clouds give way to bitter ships.
Grey and Gimble in the WabeThe ground was soft beneath his feet. It squelched and popped beneath the pressure of his determined stride, and sometimes crunched on a creature that hadn't been able to get out of his way quickly enough. Hadn't been able to, or hadn't wanted toit was hard to tell, in a place like this. Barren, and yet alive in its own way. Wet, always wet, but with a sickly damp that worked its way into his clothes and his hair and his lungs. Flat and endless like an empty chessboard. In the distance stood figures that looked somewhat like trees, except they were too round, too perfect, like the tops of some ghastly fungus. If the man ever paused long enough to stare at them, they might move, just a bit. But it was hard to tell. And the man never did stop long enough.Grey and Gimble in the Wabe3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why are you following me?"
This may seem to be a strange question for the man to ask in such a deserted milieu, but there was in fact something with him. It had no shape, or perhaps its shape was simply unimportant. Sometimes it
There's a House On the Moon"There's a house on the moon." She said, staring upwards at the silver disk in the sky.There's a House On the Moon3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Don't be silly, darling." Her mother scolded, shaking her head apologetically at the other parents.
She frowned and crossed her arms, her bottom lip sticking out and her big eyes narrowed. "But there is! And there's a river an' a field an' goats an' a cat, an' that's where Old Man Winter lives."
Her mother sighed impatiently. "Enough with these silly stories, Elisabeth. Go and play while I talk, alright? But no telling the other children of these ridiculous fantasies."
Pouting, she did as she was told, stomping her booted feet hard against the half-frozen ground until she was out of her mother's sight. Childish pique was only worth the effort if adults were watching. She walked into the bare woods, dried leaves catching on her winter coat, rather than go to the forlorn playground filled with bundles of coats and scarves and deeply concealed children. She unwrapped her own scarf from around her chin
How to Feel Alive.Speak as if you are cradling sugar in the curve of your tongue.How to Feel Alive.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Wear lipsticks with colors named
Wonder how many times they can give different names
to the same fucking color.
Smile with your teeth. Make it
like brandishing a knife.
Understand that the fingers that caress necks can
break them, and yours are no different if you
really think about it.
Run your finger along your hipbone,
and find no dust after years of living, untouched.
Wonder how this is possible, wonder how years of this is possible.
Unnecessary RoundsIn the fall I'd make unnecessary roundsUnnecessary Rounds3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
over that scuffed, speckled tile
in case you were namelessly there-
an anonymous book browser,
a stranger buying milk.
I saw all these walks of life, at noon
or at eight o'clock or nine.
The protruding stomach pregnant
with hamburger-death, stretching
at the filthy shirt with a belly button eye
(Cyclops, do you still blame Nobody?)
and the young man's thin white leg with the
long tendon swimming a delicate breast stroke
under smooth cream-skin, under the fluorescents
hairless and illuminated.
Even lonely people need groceries,
need some fuel for their night ramblings
and nail biting, and futile attempts at a
caress or a coffee companion;
I am glad to know that you are keeping busy,
you aren't part of this purple eye socket army
of sleepless bags, and bags holding potato chips.
My contract is dark with small print;
a drafted mercenary, an indentured slave
with nighttime and a poor attempt at patience.
paradise in galileeparadise of galileeparadise in galilee5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
forest of grape green vine
with saffron coloured roses
black skinned woman of dusk
VertigoHe sleeps the sleep of a manVertigo3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who doesn't yet know that Love
sits sewing her shadow to the dawn,
nursing a subtle,
aching silence in his lungs
with her name, her shape.
He can't fathom how someone
can sit so deep inside him,
shelling the shadows of himself
as though there are moons at their core,
how he no longer believes
in falling lightly in love
but in committing himself
to inevitable call of concrete
or how she lingers like ink on his fingers,
like a story he's still figuring out how to write.
BorderlineI dreamed once that I saw your face inBorderline3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my mirror, rippling prolifically like
water on glass on my face,
and then I was drowning, and I
too fast into your watery eyes.
Without imagination, prosaically as you
could, you told me you
loved me and hoped we'd meet again
soon. I smiled, propri
Sahi"Listen, Sahi. Listen to it whisper to you." I held the shell close to my ear. My mother's cool hands wrapped around mine, her breath brushing against the hair that trailed down my jaw. "Can you hear it? Can you hear it telling you its story?" I kept the shell pressed to my temple like a telephone. I heard it, a shrill and silent echo.Sahi3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What is it?"
"It's the ocean, my love. When the shell swam to shore, it kept a little bit of the ocean inside of it. And now it's yours, a little bit of the ocean, to keep with you everywhere you go. You like that?"
I come home late. As the door closes, the telephone rings. I limp to the cream- coloured telephone.
"Look out the window."
"Look out the window, Sahi. Tell me what you see."
"Tsvee, I just came home. I'd much rather take a shower, change-"
"Just look out the window, babe. Just a minute of your time."
I tiptoe to the window and look through the thick glass, my free hand pulling away the silk curtain. The telephone pressed
Ahren's GiftDear Ahren,Ahren's Gift5 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Happy Holidays, my angsty friend!
I know, I know. Holidays? you are wondering. What are those? Happy? pfft. No such thing. Not any more. Well, the annual winter days of celebration are upon us, whether you recognize them or not. And happiness can come in any size or shape.
Take, for example, the box sitting before you now. Wrapped in silver foil. (More resistant to heat.) Held closed by a thin silk ribbon, shiny black. (A color we have in common, hmm?) I tied it myself. Yes, my fingers are working again; thanks for asking. A couple of years of therapy and all of my limbs now move as I wish them to. Zach may have won that battle, but I won the war. See. It does happen. If we want it to. But, man, we have to REALLY want it. We have to decide to want it. Thats just a little free advice from one whos been there to one who thinks too much and acts too little. Take it or leave it, Ahren. No charge.
But back to my real gift. S
Swing BandPlay your trumpets louder, boys -Swing Band3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Let's hear that trombone sound.
You're gettin' paid to make some noise;
The dames are crowdin' 'round.
The chaps have finished sippin' gin
And now it's time to dance.
They want a tune to dip and spin
And kick up some romance.
A young thing needs a break at night
From white barrage balloons,
From broadcasts, blackout drapes, cordite,
Junkers across the moon.
The music's really pickin' up.
The piano's lost a string.
There's no one in a smoky club
But loves a chance to swing.
It's hard to hear the sirens wail -
The saxophone is grand -
For death is sorry, weak and pale
But life's a big swing band.
A Pinpoint Viewlook, they saidA Pinpoint View3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what do you see
you can only have a pinpoint view
I turned the lenses upside down, sometimes it is good to look at things askew :
I saw crumpled paper hanging by a girl's head, she lay on earth suspended, looking
down upon the pages she was tearing from a book ..
Those Other Pages
time sometimes hangs
here we are again, reliving old transcripts
of who said what;
and then there are those 'other conversations'
which run in our heads--
who was justified or stupid - sometimes flipping
to the alternate ending,
where just for a moment
we enact the truth of ourselves.
it seems, we can never quite bring ourselves
to throw the transcripts aw
What happened to us?Do you remember when innocence wasn't naivete?What happened to us?2 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Those times when a little peck was nothin more than play?
Now we have all these hidden feelings,
Obscured by all these secret meanings!
Sometimes I wonder...
What happened to us?
Maybe it started when we exchanged goodbyes,
When we wiped our eyes or when our tears turned to lies.
When you ask me "what have you done?"
Don't forget to you it was all in fun!
Do you ever wonder...?
What happened to us?
Why did I let best friend turn into girlfriend turn into just friends turn into...
So then I ask you why am I here?
Why are you there?
Looking at me, then avoiding my stare.
Do you ever wish we could go back to those days?
Away from this haze.
Burst from this miasma
Out from this maze!
And suddenly I wonder.....
What will happen to us?